Private school tuition can be expensive, especially for families that are on a budget. However, a private school education is generally well worth the cost when you think of it as an investment in your child.
While this may make it easier to accept the cost, figuring out how to actually afford tuition payments on a budget can be challenging, to say the least. To help you figure it out, here are six ways to afford private school tuition:
1. Get on a payment plan
Paying the entire year’s tuition in one go may be too much for you to handle considering your budget. One thing that you can do that may help make it easier to budget for private school is to request a payment plan.
Many private schools will allow you to get on a payment plan. On such a plan, you would be allowed to make several smaller payments instead of paying off one lump sum. When you’re on a monthly payment plan, it can make it a lot easier to budget accordingly for your other financial obligations and living expenses as well.
Here at Brook Road Academy, we offer several different payment plans to help families with their unique budgetary needs. In addition to being able to pay off a year’s tuition in one sum, you also have the ability to pay in two or four installments throughout the year.
2. Apply for financial aid
Not all families can afford tuition, which is why many private schools offer financial aid. One way that you can find financial aid is by working with GRASP (Great Aspirations Scholarship Program).
GRASP is a nonprofit program dedicated to helping students and families obtain funding for education. They will help assist you with the financial aid process and even award and administer scholarships.
For more information on how you can take advantage of GRASP, talk to our expert, Matthew Kreydatus, directly at 804-553-3224.
3. Take out a loan
Just like you can take out a loan for a new house or a new car, you can take out a loan for private school tuition. Generally speaking, the terms on a loan for school tuition will be a lot more favorable than car loans and mortgages, but it will depend greatly on your credit.
If you don’t have good credit, it may be difficult to qualify – and even if you do, you may end up having to pay a high-interest rate. The better your credit is, the lower your interest rate is likely to be.
You should also take a look at your finances and determine whether you’re willing to take on long-term debt. If you think you might be able to pay off the loan before the term ends, then make sure that there are no penalties included in the loan terms. Many lenders have penalties in place that kick in if you try to pay your loan off early.
4. Look for ways to save money
If paying for private school tuition is going to leave you financially stretched, then sit down and write a detailed budget that not only includes any financial obligations, such as debts or mortgage payments, that you are responsible for, but also your cost of living expenses, such as utilities, groceries, gas and even entertainment.
Odds are you’ll be able to find ways to reduce your expenses that will give you some more financial wiggle room to pay for private school tuition. The following are just a few examples of how you could reduce some of your expenses:
Stop eating out – If you go out to eat regularly, stop doing so and cook your meals at home instead. This can save you a substantial amount of money in the long term.
Buy in bulk – Buy things like groceries and toiletries in bulk and you’ll save money in the long run.
Drive less – If you’re driving everywhere you go, find ways to drive less so that you’re not spending as much money on gas. For example, carpool to work, bike to nearby locations or take public transportation when you can.
Cut down on entertainment costs – Instead of going to the movies, have a Netflix night. Instead of paying for cable, pick a couple of affordable streaming services.
5. Use a credit card
Many private schools will actually allow you to make your tuition payments using a credit card. Using a credit card may seem counterproductive since you’ll have to pay down whatever the balance is in addition to interest. However, if you can afford to make your tuition payments in full, then a credit card could be a good way to earn some money back.
Basically, what you can do is use a credit card that has a cash back reward in place. Some credit card companies offer anywhere from one to five percent cash back on all purchases made. If you have such a card, then you can get a significant amount of money back if you put your tuition payment on your credit card.
However, to ensure that you’re actually getting money back, you should pay off that balance right away or else the interest on that cost will eliminate any cashback benefit you could have earned.
If you can’t afford to pay the tuition payment that you put on your credit card, then it’s not worth doing – especially since credit card debt is extremely easy to build up, and the last thing you want to do is go into a large amount of debt as a result.
6. Apply for a tax credit
Virginia has an Education Improvement Scholarship Tax Credits program that was established back in 2012 with the goal of making it more affordable for low and middle-income families to afford private school. As long as you are within 300 percent of the federal poverty line, you could qualify for a scholarship through the program.
Make private school affordable
These are just a few ways that you could afford to pay private school tuition even if you’re on a tight budget. Every family will have a unique set of circumstances and it might take one, several or none of these methods to afford private schooling.
For more information about our tuition costs, be sure to contact us at Brook Road Academy today at 804-553-3354.